Italians have been told to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel as quarantine measures were extended to the whole country to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Here are the main points of a government decree signed on Monday night that brings the restrictions into effect until 3 April.
From Tuesday, the movements of Italy’s population of 60 million are severely limited. Travel is only allowed for “urgent, verifiable work situations and emergencies or health reasons”. People who have tested positive for Covid-19 must not leave their homes for any reason, while anyone with a fever or respiratory symptoms is strongly encouraged to stay at home and limit social contact, including with their doctor.
To avoid work-related travel, public and private companies have been urged to put their staff on leave. The latest decree prohibits “all forms of gatherings in public places or sites open to the public” – going further than the rules that went into force over the weekend in large parts of northern Italy.
Sporting events of all levels and disciplines were cancelled, stopping play in the top-flight Serie-A football league.
High-level professional training for top national sports events and competitions organised by international bodies, such as the Olympic Games, may go ahead without spectators. All athletes, coaches and managers will undergo health checks.
Swimming pools, spas, sports halls and wellness centres must not operate, and ski resorts across the country are shut. To encourage people to stay in, bars and restaurants are only allowed to open between 6am and 6pm, and only if it is possible to keep a distance of at least a metre between customers.
All museums and cultural venues are closed, as well as nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and casinos, which have been shut since the weekend. While supermarkets will remain open, large shopping centres and department stores must close on public holidays and the day before public holidays.
Schools and universities are closed, and all exams cancelled. Religious institutions will stay open, as long as people can stay a metre from one another – but ceremonies such as marriages, baptisms and funerals are banned.
Iran on Tuesday reported 54 new deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the outbreak in the country. The latest deaths bring the number of those killed by the virus in the Islamic republic to 291, the health ministry’s spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised conference.
He added that 881 new cases had been confirmed, bringing the total infection tally to 8,042. But “2,731 people, which is about 10 times the number of dear countrymen we’ve lost, have recovered and been discharged from hospitals,” Jahanpour said.
The outbreak of the virus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside of China, where the disease originated.
With 2,114 cases, the capital Tehran remains the worst-hit province. The northern province of Mazandaran climbed to second place with 253 new cases to a total of 886, followed by 751 in Qom, the Shia pilgrimage city south of Tehran where the country’s first cases were reported. The former is a popular tourist spot bordering the Caspian Sea, especially during holidays for the Iranian New Year on March 20.
Iran is yet to officially impose quarantines but authorities have repeatedly called on people to refrain from travelling and have resorted to closing hotels and other accommodations to discourage travel.— Agencies